Mind Control

You are a water-filled sack of flesh, your actions and decisions largely determined by the multiplicity of hormones, chemicals, and nutrients coursing through your body. And no, I’m not just talking about teenagers, with their “raging hormones.” I’m talking about you, a rational, reasonable, experienced, mature, highly organized, professional adult. You are at the mercy […]

Mastering the Basics

This is the third part in a series on what it means to achieve mastery as a software engineer. The first part described senior software engineers, the second part discussed common flaws that, quite apart from coding skills, could undermine an engineer’s professional and personal growth. In this post, I’m going to try to get […]

When Theater is Security

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you should have some idea of what’s been going on in Boston – that there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed three and wounded/maimed many others; that the bombers went on a rampage through the city after their photos were released […]

Lessons from Home: an Interlude

Though I’m in the middle of writing a longer post on software engineering, I wanted to quickly jot down some unrelated thoughts from earlier today. My son Jacob is three and a half years old. He’s a great little guy, I love him dearly, and like most three and a half year olds, he can […]


All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina In my last post, I discussed how senior software engineers were different (in a good way), and promised to talk about how one can get there. The problem is two-fold, however. In addition to the slow, […]

How to Write a Great Blog Post

I’ve been writing this blog for a good number of months now, and I thought I’d share my well-defined, highly deterministic process for writing great posts. Come up with a great idea Start writing Realize that I’m writing about something completely different Try to get back to my original idea Fail Eventually accept the fact […]